Rory McIlroy: Why His Game Has Fallen Apart

Mike LynchContributor IIIMay 25, 2012

VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 18th hole during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship on the West Course at Wentworth on May 25, 2012 in Virginia Water, England.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy missed his second consecutive cut this week at the BMW PGA Championship.  His opening round score of 74 was followed by a meltdown on Friday with a 79.  He finished eight strokes off the cut line at the European Tour's flagship event at the Wentworth Club in England.

This followed a missed cut at the PGA Tour's signature event, The Players Championship.  That itself was not very surprising, as McIlroy has never made the cut at TPC Sawgrass.  However, two consecutive cuts missed is quite the departure from the form McIlroy had shown for nine months.

During a 14-tournament stretch from September to May, McIlroy recorded two victories.  He finished runner-up five times and also had three third-place showings.  He finished in the top five in 12 of the 14 tournaments.  His worst finishes were a 40th place showing at the Masters, and an 11th place at the Dubai World Championship.

Golf is a game where even the best are prone to lose form and miss cuts.  I don't believe this is a simple case of having an off week for McIlroy.  The simple answer for McIlroy's struggle is that he has putted poorly and hasn't been as accurate with his irons for the past two weeks.  

Allowing frustration to affect his play is the main reason for his sudden downturn.  He has spent the last two Fridays looking like a golfer more interested in heading home than battling for the weekend.  McIlroy clearly was frustrated this week as he threw a club on the 12th hole in the first round.

McIlroy has very good reason to be frustrated.  He was in contention at the Masters going into Saturday, but collapsed over the weekend.  Then he squandered a golden chance to win the Wells Fargo Championship in his next tournament.  

Following those two disappointments were two tournaments and courses that McIlroy has not done well on.  In the case of Sawgrass, we know that he does not particularly care for the course either.

McIlroy entered the last two weeks frustrated by opportunities lost, and playing on courses that he'd rather not play.  The result was a golfer who mentally was in no shape to compete in a high-level tournament.

While McIlroy will bounce back from these disastrous two weeks, it is clear that he must better control his emotions in order for his game to reach the potential it has shown.